We’re designed to have balance in our fat. In other words, we either burn it or store it in fat cells for later use. However, this balance falls off-kilter when: 1) we don’t burn it; and/or 2) we’re ingesting too much fat from either saturated or trans fats. Most of these come from animal products and processed foods.
When our fat cells become full, the excess fat is shuttled to the organs and muscles. This becomes a huge problem in many different ways:
- It affects the gut by feeding the unhealthy bacteria and creating more. This throws off the gut microbiome balance, which can cause other issues such as inflammation, a compromised immune system, hormonal imbalance, depression, brain deterioration and unhealthy changes in genetic expression (we have a “switch” that turns on disease; that’s what’s happening here). All of this potentially leads to cancers, heart disease, dementia and other debilitating diseases and afflictions.
- In the gut, lipotoxicity also causes an increase in blood sugars. This results in intestinal permeability, which can lead to not only diabetes but autoimmune disease (MS, Thyroid issues, Rheumatoid Arthritis, etc.) as well.
- When fat enters the muscles and pancreas, it sets the stage for insulin resistance and diabetes.
- When fat goes into the heart, plaque formation increases, setting the stage for an eventual heart attack and heart disease.
- The liver stops functioning properly when fat enters it, which can cause non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and diabetes.
- When fat goes into the kidney, the chances of suffering from kidney failure go up greatly.
- Everything travels through the bloodstream. As fat makes it way through the arteries and veins, it leaves behind plaque and increases the chance for strokes and blood clots.
HOW DO WE FIX OR PREVENT THIS?
We can fix or prevent fat-related difficulties and conditions with the same thing that got us into this mess: our diet. Only now, we’re switching to a very different and much healthier diet.
In short, fiber is the answer; plant foods in particular. As a nation, we eat way too little fiber. We focus so much on “getting enough protein” that we neglect eating enough fiber. And as a result, we can suffer from digestive cancers, heart disease, stroke, multiple cancers, Alzheimers and many more lifestyle-borne diseases.
Our healthy gut microbes LOVE fiber. They feed off it and produce compounds called “short chain fatty acids (SCFAs)”, which help us burn fat, enhance beta cell function in the pancreas (causing lowered blood sugar) and provide broad anti-inflammatory effects throughout the body. SCFAs go into the bloodstream, then to the organs. They start reversing lipotoxicity and insulin resistance.
The goal is to eat a wide variety of plant foods to provide fuel to an equally wide variety of gut microbes. The best plant foods include fruits, vegetables, seeds, nuts, legumes, lentils and whole unprocessed grains.
In summary, for optimum health, we need to cut out as many animal products and processed foods as possible while increasing our fiber intake from a variety of plants. Doing so won’t only save us money at the grocery store, but also save on expensive medical bills — and prolong our health and our lives.
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